Quarterback Peyton Manning, head coach John Fox and the Denver Broncos were the sentimental favorites going into Sunday's Super Bowl XLVIII at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
The Broncos coughed up a safety on the first play of the game (just 12 seconds in), and it was all downhill from there. They also made three turnovers in the first half that allowed the Seahawks to build a comfortable 22-0 halftime lead, enroute to a 43-8 blowout win.
Linebacker Malcolm Smith of the Seahawks was named the Most Valuable Player. Smith had a 69 yard interception return for a touchdown, giving Seattle its 22-0 halftime lead. Smith also managed seven tackles on the day, including five solo stops, and two passes defensed.
Smith was also the one who recovered the Demaryius Thomas fumble that led to another Seattle score. He becomes the third linebacker in history to win the Super Bowl MVP award, joining Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens in last year's Super Bowl, and Chuck Howley of the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl V.
Quarterback Russell Wilson of the Seahawks threw for 232 yards and two TDs.
The Broncos also became the first team since the New York Giants, who lost Super Bowl XXXV against the Ravens, to be shutout in the first half of a Super Bowl. And those first-half breakdowns by the Broncos handed Seattle 19 unanswered points.
Manning, who was named the Associate Press-NFL's Most Valuable Player (the fifth time he's won the award) and the Offensive Player of the Year on Saturday, was kept in check by a vaunting Seattle defense. Manning was 34-49 for 279 yards with two interceptions. And both of those interceptions led to Seattle scores.
Marshawn Lynch capped off a seven-play, 37-yard drive with a one-yard run that made it 15-0 in the second quarter; the other led to Smith's interception return that gave Seattle its 22-point advantage at the break. The Broncos, who turned it over four times, finished with 306 yards offensively, but only 27 on the ground.
The Broncos are 2-5 in Super Bowls, 0-4 in their orange jerseys (they've been outscored 167-52 in those games). Manning came up short in his third Super Bowl appearance. He's 1-2 lifetime. The MVP in Super Bowl XLI against the Chicago Bears, came up short as a member of the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV against the New Orleans Saints.
Fox is 0-2 in Super Bowl appearances. He was the head coach of the Carolina Panthers, who lost Super Bowl XXXVIII to the New England Patriots in 2004-05.
The Seahawks earn their first championship. They lost Super Bowl XL against the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2005-06. Seattle put the game out of reach when Percy Harvin returned the opening kick-off to start the second half 87 yards for a touchdown for a commanding 29-0 lead.
The Seahawks also tied the NFL record for the youngest team (at 26.4 years of age) to appear in a Super Bowl. The 1971 Miami Dolphins did it originally. And the Seahawks also become Seattle's second world champion. The Seattle SuperSonics (now the Oklahoma City Thunder) won a National Basketball Association title in 1979.